New Volume of Luther's Works with Comments on the RPW
- Concordia has just released a new volume of Luther's Works: Prefaces Volume 2. Since I received mine this past week, I had only a few opportunities to look at some excerpts, but found it valuable enough to share, for the sake of those who might also be interested. I was inclined to think a collection of "mere prefaces" that Luther wrote to be published in books of other authors might be less interesting and valuable, but actually they tend to be quite the opposite; so that although it is not a "whole actual book" the volume collects many things of worth reading.
In his preface to a collection of "Very Godly and Erudite Letters" of John Huss, "Sufficient of Themselves to Show that the Godliness of the Papists is Satanic Madness," Dr. Luther has the following remarks relating to worship:
What, I ask, is this, but establishing himself [the pope] as judge of the living and the dead, indeed as the lord in charge of creating gods and devils, once that true Judge of the living and the dead whom the true God established has been cast out? This is what Daniel predicted.... [Dan. 11.38.] The words of such a great prophet should be considered carefully, especially since the Lord Jesus Christ Himself commanded this, saying, "He who reads, let him understand" (Matt. 24.15.) For it is certain and manifest that the perfect and complete worship of God was handed down to the world through the apostles at the command of Christ and by the inspiration of His Holy Spirit, and that nothing should be added to it and nothing subtracted from it. For thus Christ says to the apostles: "He will teach you all things and guide you into all truth" [John 16.13.] So also Paul boasts in Acts 20:27 that he had not kept anything hidden from the churches, neither in private nor in public, that was necessary for salvation. Instead, throughout all of his Epistles he fervently presses the point that nothing additional should be commanded nor anything else new be taught, while at the same time predicting that there would be those who would come and do the contrary, and, above all, that Roman basilisk (2 Thessalonians 2.4.)Such comments are just in time for our present season of x-mass superstition and idolatry.
Of course, any recommendation of Luther's writings is with the implied reserve. There will be things disagreeable, on account of doctrinal inaccuracy, and on account of a lack of decency. But I am thankful to see Concordia translating and publishing more of the things this important servant of the Lord Jesus composed to promote the Reformation of Christ's Church.
If you order this directly from Concordia, be aware that they have been, in the past year, carrying on some of their marketing using sweepstakes/lottery-based contest promotions. I notified them of my disapproval. I would be glad to know that others did the same.